Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Dozen (Almost) American Beauties

Continuing yesterday's walk past about 70 antique autos at J & R Vintage Auto Museum in Rio Rancho, NM, we found another group over which to marvel.

Gab and Evonna Joiner built this building in 1995 to display their cars after selling their home where there was room to store all the cars in the basement. It started out as just a building to display the cars and since has grown into a museum, along with some other auto-related memorabilia.

Some cars are for sale or trade.

1923 Buick Model 55 Sport Touring and

its hood ornament/radiator cap.

1922 Marmon 34B Speedster.

The most interesting feature on this auto was the seat outside the auto itself (close-up below shows the seat).

"It featured seating for two only, with golf club doors permitting access to the storage area located in its “bee tail” rear end. On certain models, a drawer slid out from the golf club door creating a backrest so an occasional passenger could sit or ride(!) on the running board. Only one known and considered a true classic."

In the process of trying to find out more information on this unusual passenger seat, I learned that the Nordyke-Marmon Company in Indianapolis, IN, manufactured Marmon autos from 1903-1933. The Marmon Wasp (so named because of its yellow color and pointed tail) won the first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911.

It was also the first racer with only a single seat, instead of the two-seat configuration. Criticized for not including the second seat for the mechanic, who also watched out for the other racers, the Marmon crew installed the first rear view mirror in an auto.

1932 Packard Model 902 Opera Coupe and

its hood ornament.

1927 Peerless Model 6-90 "Boat-Tail" Roadster.

Manufac-tured in Cleveland, OH, the Peerless was one of the three P's of the automobile world--Peerless, Packard, and Pierce Arrow.

View of the "Boat-Tail" and

other views of the Peerless.

1926 Ricken-backer.

Yes, that Ricken-backer. It was manu-factured in Detroit by World War I Flying Ace, Captian Eddie Rickenbacker.

1931 Ford Roadster Pick-up.

1931 Reo Royale.

"By 1907 Reo had gross sales of four million dollars and the company was one of the top four automobile manufacturers in the US. After 1908 however, despite the introduction of improved cars designed by (R.E.) Olds, Reo's share of the automobile market shrank due in part to the development of giants like Ford and General Motors. Reo's stagnation must be attributed in large part to Olds himself, who was talented mechanically but not administratively" (Reo Motor Car Company Plant from the National Historic Landmark program).

1932 Chevrolet Deluxe Roadster.

1931 Packard.

After seeing all these beautifully restored, I still am trying to imagine Gab's basement--how did he have space to restore and store a car let alone cars in his basement?

No comments: